Wednesday 2 February 2011

Dick: A year on

He prepared for a journey

A year of Wednesdays ago, I received a call that I thought was coming from friend; it was from a friend about a friend.

That morning, he woke up, asked his housemate to prepare a cup of tea, and then asked for a bag to be packed as if going for a journey.

When the bag was packed, he was offered another cup of tea and whilst that was being made, my friend went on that journey never to return again.

The things that keep him here

Is there a day that passes without that memory of him, we met a few times over each year for meals at his place with other friends he had met on many of his journeys or just went out for meals together.

The phone rings on some evening and we chat about what we are both up to and arrange to meet in the not too distant future; when he made time, he was completely involved, very helpful and tremendous support.

You just had that feeling that when it came to the crunch he was just a phone call away and never a disappointment – that is how I knew him.

It has been a year now, for a memory like mine that is so keen and almost photographic at things I have seen, I can scarcely recreate the image of how I last saw him. I very well remember the way he called my name but it is a very faint sound in my head.

As we waved goodbye

A week later, we saw him off, about 300 of us on a very cold February morning just hours before I was to receive what became the last of my chemotherapy session.

It was a moving ceremony befitting a man of many talents, many friends, many laughs and many memories.

A year on, he is remembered fondly, whilst missing the things we did together, those things are part of the story of a man much liked, they belong to the narrative that makes him special.

This is to Dick, in memory of the wonderful life he lived and how his friendship is treasured by all those who knew him. Thank you for being a friend.

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